‘Spare refugees the sight of bare skin’
A school in Bavaria has told parents not to let their daughters wear revealing blouses or short skirts because emergency accommodation for 200 Muslim refugees from Syria had been established close by.
According to this report, the Wilhelm-Diess-Gymnasium in Pocking was closed after the refugee centre was set up, and PE lessons were relocated to a nearby primary school.
But the school is still worried about the refugees harrassing students.
So worried, in fact, that the headteacher Martin Thalhammer recently sent out a letter to parents to give them reassurance about extra security measures.
For the refugees, access to the school gardens and buildings is strictly forbidden. The same goes for the school grounds during the day. The number of teachers on duty during breaks has been increased.
The letter goes on to give students instructions on how to deal with the situation:
The Syrian citizens are mainly Muslims and speak Arabic. The refugees are marked by their own culture.
Because our school is directly next to where they are staying, modest clothing should be adhered to … Revealing tops or blouses, short shorts or miniskirts could lead to misunderstandings.
The letter has not been met favourably by some parents, but a local politician, who did not want to be named, said the move was:
Absolutely necessary. When Muslim teenage boys go to open air swimming pools, they are overwhelmed when they see girls in bikinis.
These boys, who come from a culture where for women it is frowned upon to show naked skin, follow girls and bother them without realising. Obviously this is concerning for us.
The move by the school has sparked a great deal of discussion, and Thalhammer has received queries from all over the media. He said:
There have never been uniform rules at this school and there never will be. It is my duty to look after the children. Therefore I wanted to inform everyone about what is going on at school and what the gym is being used for.
It was my responsibility to remind everyone that two cultures are coming together here.
• The illustration used for this piece was taken from a Wikihow page, “How to resist sexual temptation”. Quote:
Watch your eyes. They are the windows to your soul. Keep your eyes above the shoulders and train them to focus on non-sexual parts of the body.